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Yooka-Laylee launching in April, Wii U version canceled

Playtonic says it’s transferring its work to a Nintendo Switch edition

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Yooka-Laylee, the spiritual successor to colorful 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie, made by alumni of the original series, will launch on April 11, 2017.

The Wii U version, which had been part of Yooka-Laylee's crowdfunding promises since its Kickstarter began in May 2015, is formally canceled. This isn't much of a surprise as Nintendo's newest console, the Switch, is due to launch sometime before the game's release date.

Those who donated to the project on Kickstarter to get the Wii U version may choose another version of the game, or may wait until a Nintendo Switch version is developed.

Playtonic Games said "we are now working very closely with Nintendo to look to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch," and will have more details on that arrangement later.

Donors who are adamant about a Wii U version may individually contact Playtonic about refunds. "The Playtonic team wanted to explore every possible avenue before making the very difficult decision to transfer development from the Wii U," the studio said in this FAQ page. "Our developers worked tirelessly over many months in attempt to solve our technical issues, but unfortunately it’s not been possible to bring Yooka-Laylee to Wii U as originally planned."

Playtonic also announced a pre-order incentive for the PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One versions of the game, offering users the Yooka-Laylee Toybox. That' a "self-contained, spoiler-free sandbox" environment. Playtonic said it is "currently looking in to ways we can make the console Toybox available to appropriate backers."

Kickstarter backers will also be able to change their pledge for a digital version into one for a disc release, but Playtonic is still working on finalizing the method for doing so. "Our priority is to make sure that physical backers receive their game as soon as possible and not weeks late, so we want to make sure we choose the right distribution method before taking your pledges."

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